U.S. law enforcement: when “rescue” becomes exploitation

The criminalization of sex work in the U.S., barring the state of Nevada, further complicates and undermines efforts to tackle sex trafficking, the Washington Post reports. Like many countries, in the U.S., there is a dangerous conflation of sex work and sex trafficking due to the criminalization and stigmatization of sex work. U.S. law enforcement tends to treat all sex work as potential instances of trafficking. Police often go undercover to visit suspected sex work spots. All too often, the result of this approach is the victimization, or revictimization, of women who work there. Many of whom have chosen to…

Lebanon’s vaccine rollout risks excluding migrants and refugees

Migrants and refugees in Lebanon, including many survivors of modern slavery, are at risk of being left behind by the government’s COVID-19 vaccination plans, according to Human Rights Watch. The organization interviewed numerous refugees, migrant workers, UN staff, and aid workers as part of an investigation that has uncovered wide disparities in the country’s vaccine rollout. Non-Lebanese people form 30 percent of Lebanon’s population, yet represent only 2.86 of those vaccinated and 5.36 percent of those registered for vaccination. This is particularly concerning considering the COVID-19 death rate for these groups; among Palestinian and Syrian refugees, for example, it is…

Pandemic leads to fall in reports to U.K. modern slavery helpline

The United Kingdom’s national anti-slavery helpline received fewer reports in 2020 than in 2019, a drop that experts have warned hides a troubling reality. In its annual report released Wednesday, the anti-trafficking charity Unseen—which operates the helpline—said that while overall cases only fell by 4 percent, potential victims dropped by around a quarter. This disparity is due to the fact that reported cases of labor exploitation, which typically involve more victims, dropped especially steeply by about a third. Unseen’s executive director, Justine Currell, said that the data was reflective of an already hidden problem becoming more invisible during COVID-19, and…

Legislator calls for an end to prison slavery in Louisiana

“I just don’t believe that Louisiana and the United States should be in the business of legalized slavery.” – Curtis Ray Davis II, executive director of Decarcerate Louisiana and formerly incarcerated person Louisiana lawmaker Rep. Edmond Jordan this week called for action to end prison slavery by introducing House Bill 196 which seeks to remove language from Louisiana’s constitution that allows slavery as punishment for a crime. Under the 13th Amendment of Louisiana’s state constitution, involuntary servitude remains legal so long as the individual has been convicted of a crime under the criminal justice system. In practice, this means that incarcerated…

Here’s why we don’t understand heavier-than-air flight

If you’ve been reading popular science websites or magazines lately, then you may have heard the news: we don’t understand how airplanes work. For example: This fact may surprise you, given that humans have been successfully designing, building, and flying airplanes for over a century now. But I’m afraid that the articles are pretty clear: […] Source: Read More: Here’s why we don’t understand heavier-than-air flight

Indigo Rumbelow, 26, XRUK’s arts coordinator from North East London

Indigo was first arrested for ‘breach of the peace’ at Cannes Lions Advertising Festival in 2019 for gate-crashing a Facebook conference. She was arrested again on 10th October 2019 at the London City Airport action while blocking the Private Members’ Entrance during the 2019 October Rebellion. She was charged with Obstruction of the Highway and tried on 13th January 2021 at City of London Magistrates’ Court, found guilty and received a £230 fine. She was arrested again on 13th February 2020 after digging up the lawn in front of the Ministry for Housing Communities and Local Government calling on the…

Chrissie Kelly, 61, retired social worker from North London

Chrissie was first arrested on 7th October 2019 on the Strand during the 2019 October Rebellion for Obstruction of the Highway. She pleaded guilty and was given a conditional discharge and court costs. She was arrested again on 3rd September 2020 outside the Houses of Parliament during the 2020 September Rebellion under Section 14 of the Public Order Act, pleaded guilty and received a conditional discharge and court costs. She was arrested a third time on 5th September 2020 at the Murdoch printworks blockade during the 2020 September Rebellion. She pleaded not guilty to Obstruction of the Highway on 6th…

Elise Yarde, 33, educator from North East London

Elise, who was named Woman of Walthamstow by a local female led organisation for her work in her community, was arrested on 5th September 2020 at the Murdoch printworks blockade at Broxbourne during the 2020 September Rebellon. She was charged with Obstruction of the Highway and pleaded not guilty at St Albans Magistrates’ Court on the 5th October 2020. Her trial is due to begin on the 17th May 2021 at Luton Magistrates’ Court. “I took part in the Broxbourne action not just to raise awareness about how these newspapers underplay the climate and ecological emergency, but also to highlight…

Craig Scudder, 54, former City broker from Hertfordshire

Craig, who now builds eco-houses, was first arrested outside Parliament during the 2019 April Rebellion but was not prosecuted. He was arrested again while blocking Millbank outside MI5 during the 2019 October Rebellion for Obstruction of the Highway, tried at City of London Magistrates’ Court on 10th February 2021, found guilty and given a twelve month conditional discharge and £652 court costs. Craig was arrested again on 5th September 2020 during the Murdoch printworks blockade and charged with Obstruction of the Highway. He pleaded not guilty at St Albans Magistrates Court on 6th October 2020. His trial is due to…

Peter Quicke, 57, record label owner from London

Peter was arrested on 26th April 2019 outside The Bank England in the City of London during the 2019 April Rebellion under Section 14 of the Public Order Act. He pleaded guilty on 11th October 2019 at City of London Magistrates’ Court and received a six month conditional discharge and £105 court costs. Excerpt from Peter’s Court Statement “The reason I blocked the road outside the Bank of England was to object to the billions of pounds invested by corporations based in the City of London in fossil fuel industries with no regard to the catastrophic effects of those fossil…

Gully Bujak, 28, activist from East London

Gully was first arrested by the pink boat in Oxford Circus during the 2019 April Rebellion and charged with Obstruction of the Highway. She pleaded guilty at her trial on 26th November 2019 at City of London Magistrates’ Court and received a six month conditional discharge and £105 court costs. She was arrested again during the air pollution protest “The Air we Grieve” at Leicester Square in December 2019 during the General Election Rebellion and charged with criminal damage. Her trial is scheduled for June 2021 at City of London Magistrates’ Court. She was arrested again on 5th September 2020…

Mark Hood, 51, gardener from Tonbridge

Mark, who is also a local councillor, was arrested on Sunday 21st April on Waterloo Bridge during the 2019 April Rebellion under Section 14 of the Public Order Act. He pleaded guilty on 11th October 2019 at City of London Magistrates’ Court and received a six month conditional discharge and £145 court costs. Mark’s Court Statement “When I was arrested on Waterloo Bridge on that Sunday lunchtime, I had wave of panic course through me. I know that this court appearance and the consequences will be seen as a stain on my integrity and character by some. I have had…

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